Sunday, June 28, 2009
Nottingham, Rettig hit it big in Vegas
By Craig Haubert
LAS VEGAS -- Underneath Saturday's hot morning sun, a talented group of quarterbacks came out for the Elite 11 camp at UNLV. ESPNU 150 watch list quarterbacks and some committed prospects were on hand, as well as others still trying to impress and earn offers.
Top performer: Brett Nottingham (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista)
Although a few quarterbacks performed well enough to claim this title, Nottingham had the best and most consistent day. The recent UCLA commit, who looked like a a polished pocket passer on tape, displayed that same skill in Saturday's workout. He looked very smooth and quick in his drops and showed strong ballhandling skills. He did not have the strongest arm in attendance but was very accurate and threw catchable balls. He really shined in short-to-intermediate passing work. He does not have striking physical measurables (6-foot-4, 208 pounds) but is a good-sized kid in person. The Bruins picked up a pretty good player who is fairly far along in his development and, based off his film and live workouts, should compete for playing time early in his career.
Fashionably late: Chase Rettig (Sierra Madre, Calif./San Clemente)
In the entertainment city of Las Vegas, Rettig took a page out of the stars' handbook and arrived a little late to the camp. Despite his tardiness, he wasted no time getting into the drills and slinging the pigskin around.
After watching Rettig earlier in the week at USC's Rising Stars camp and then here Saturday, it was evident that the kid has a strong arm. He can get rid of the ball quickly and get it to its target in a hurry. He has a good build and looks a little thicker and sturdier than his listed weight of 201 pounds might imply. He did a good job handling the ball and quickly got back and set in his drops. Meanwhile, he has a bit of gunslinger demeanor and needs to work on his touch. He also needs to corral some of that arm strength and know when to take a little something off the ball.
Rettig did an adequate job at the USC camp but looked much better Saturday. At times, he looked to be forcing things at the Rising Stars camp, almost as if he was trying to throw the ball hard when he can just throw it well naturally. He looked more comfortable at the Elite 11 event, and it showed, as just he let his abilities do the work. Rettig recently picked up his first offer from Boston College, and based on his tools, one would have to imagine more are to come with a strong senior campaign at San Clemente.
|Chase Rettig arrived a little late but made up for it by showing a strong arm and good skills. |
Wyatt Earp gunslinger: Steve Kaiser (Saint Louis/De Smet Jesuit)
Kaiser was interesting to watch. He displayed good arm strength and nice velocity on his throws. He grabbed scouts' attention because he grips the ball closer to the point or tip of the ball than most quarterbacks, as former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw did. This method works for him, even though it differs slightly from the norm. Although some prospects in attendance appeared a bit more methodical and robotic in their methods, Kaiser was more natural in terms of getting back, getting set and delivering the football. He needs more grooming, but considering the weakness of the class at the position, we are surprised Kaiser hasn't earned more interest.
Growing into a bright future: Tyler Bray (Kingsburg, Calif.)
Rettig was not the only quarterback we saw in person for the second time this week, as Bray also attended at the USC Rising Stars camp. Bray is a tall quarterback prospect (6-6, 189 pounds) whose build is rangy and lean. He will need to add bulk to his frame. Although he comes across as skinny, his future looks bright from a physical standpoint because he is a late bloomer in that department. His father, who was in attendance, is a big gentleman, so there is hope that the younger Bray could fill out. Once he gets into a college weight program and focuses on one sport, he should be able to pack on size.
Of the many top passers at the camp, Bray certainly looked to be one who still needed development. Yet he showed flashes of being a real sleeper in this quarterback class, especially toward the end of the workout Saturday. In work with the receivers, he showed nice touch on his deep balls with his high release. He also displayed accuracy on intermediate throws and good tools. He would be a great steal for a program that already has an established underclassman quarterback and could take Bray and develop him over time.
Decisions, decisions ...
A pair of prospects at the camp easily could be listed as athletes. When they reach campus, their coaches will need to decide whether to develop them at quarterback or move them to another position to get the most out of their athletic ability. Jamius Gunsby (LaGrange, Ga.) appears impressive, and the first reaction is that his size (6-5, 220 pounds) would be better used at another position. During the course of the camp, though, he looked like a serious candidate to remain at quarterback in college. Although he can look a little mechanical in his drop, once he throws the ball, he looks very natural as a passer. He has a smooth release and a good arm. He will need to work on his drops and mechanics, but the ball seems to float out of his hand. Kain Colter (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek) is another prospect listed at athlete who could receive looks at quarterback. Although he has adequate size (6-1, 185 pounds), has had good moments and in the right system could play quarterback in college, we feel he may be better suited to using his skills at another position at the next level.
Notes and observations
Tyler Shreve (Redlands, Calif./East) had a good showing. He is a physically good-looking kid with good arm strength. He has good mechanics but can be a little too mechanical at times and look a little tense in his upper body, which can affect the smoothness of his delivery. He could have a big senior year. ... Dallas Lloyd (Pleasant Grove, Utah/Pleasant Grove) showed good accuracy but almost looked to be aiming at times. He needs to work on standing tall in his drops in the pocket to maximize his adequate height. He may not show his true abilities in a workout setting. To appreciate his production, you need to watch him play the game, as he has a riverboat gambler's mentality. ... Nick Hirschman (Los Gatos, Calif./Los Gatos) was a pleasant late addition to the roster. The recent Colorado commit showed in person what he displayed on film -- he has good footwork, drop speed and ballhandling. ... Stephen Morris (Miami/Monsignor Edward Pace) had a good showing and looked to be the athletic passer in person we saw on film. He was a bit inconsistent with his throws throughout the day but did show flashes. ... Texas commit Connor Wood (Houston/Second Baptist) has good size and flashed good ability but had an inconsistent day and was not as sharp as expected.
Craig Haubert is the recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. and has more than a decade of coaching experience.